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Here is Ela Family Farms World HQ for assembling gift packs. This is the basement of our old packing shed, which looks and feels a little like a stone bomb shelter.  It’s about forty degrees down here—nice in July, a little nippy on the toes in November.

We assemble our gift packs ourselves. This involves taping lots of boxes,

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We rotate our stock of boxes—even with cardboard.

bribing our kids to punch out these dye cut foam inserts (we pay them by the box—most of the time),

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You can see how these foam inserts are scored in the photo on the left

labeling the boxes,

labels cropped 1114ending up with a nice stack of boxes. We sent out an order this past week of over sixty boxes of apples so it’s nice to have a good tall stack ready to go (which we did not!).

GP boxes II

These boxes are ready to go with the foam inserts already in them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we load the boxes with whatever fruit our customer has ordered.  At this time of year, we are sending out Fuji and Braeburn apples as well as our artisan processed items such as applesauce, jams, fruit butters and dried fruit.

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One of the trickiest parts of sending out gift packs is making sure that the correct fruit goes with the correct card to the correct person.  It doesn’t sound terribly complicated, but if we are interrupted while we are putting these gift packs together, or if we leave and them come back to them, it’s amazing how easy it is to make a mistake.  There has been more than once when we thought we were sending peaches to Jane Doe in Kansas City and John Doe in Portland received them!

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The gift packs have to be ready by a certain time for UPS to pick them up.  During the height of the fruit season, we’ve had a our UPS guy helping us label the boxes so that we could get them out on his truck.  Gift pack sales drop once the fresh fruit season is over, though we still have orders coming in weekly for the holiday season.  If you are looking for a great local product to send to friends or family this holiday season, check out our website and get your order in.  And we promise that the gift will go to the correct person with the correct card.

 

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